The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded its romaine lettuce recall amid an outbreak of E. coli linked to the vegetable from Yuma, a growing region located in south Arizona.
The previous alerts just applied to sliced romaine on its own and as component of tossed salads & mixed greens.
Officials also said consumers should throw away any lettuce if they're unsure what kind it is.
An E. coli outbreak stemming from romaine lettuce has affected 53 people across 16 states, according to CNN. These people reported becoming ill in the time period of March 13 to April 6, 2018. People should also wash their hands after cleaning lettuce.
Romaine lettuce is sometimes packed in the field and shipped directly to restaurants or grocery stores. An earlier warning did not include whole heads or hearts; the latest warning covers everything.
The new update is based on newly reported illnesses in Alaska, where individuals had eaten whole romaine lettuce.
The FDA recommends that consumers ask grocers, restaurants, and other food service establishments where their romaine lettuce originated, and avoid any romaine lettuce, whether chopped, whole head or hearts, that originated from Yuma.
The CDC advises that consumers who have symptoms of STEC infection should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. To date, 31 people have been hospitalized, including five who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, according to the CDC.
As of Wednesday, the hospitalization rate for this outbreak was about 58 percent, much higher than the 30 percent normally associated with infections involving E. coli O157: H7, according to a CDC update sent to clinicians on Thursday.